Magnetek reports strong quarter

Menomonee Falls-based Magnetek Inc. today reported fiscal first quarter net income of $2.3 million, or 65 cents per share, up from $1.1 million, or 32 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

The company reported quarterly net sales of $26.6 million, up from $24.1 million a year earlier.

“We remain encouraged by the strong year-over-year growth in our sales and profitability, as well as by the positive book-to-bill ratio in the first quarter. We experienced the typical seasonal softness in material handling markets, which resulted in a slow start to the year. However, as the quarter progressed, order and sales activity increased substantially. In addition, our profitability improved significantly over last year despite the uneven demand, as we drove our gross margins higher and benefitted from reduced pension expense,” said Peter McCormick, president and chief executive officer of Magnetek.

McCormick said a bottleneck caused by labor strife in the ports on the West Coast resulted in higher freight costs and increased inventory balances, and presented some challenges to the company’s supply chain and plant efficiency.

“With that now behind us, if demand as expected becomes more linear going forward, we should see higher profit margins and better asset management in the second quarter. Were cautiously optimistic that the momentum we experienced late in the first quarter can continue into the second quarter and the remainder of the year,” McCormick said.

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